Newton chosen for winter scholarship in Perth

Northamptonshire batsman Rob Newton is to spend part of the winter playing grade cricket in Perth as part of the ECB’s Scholarship Programme.

Newton made impressive progress in the second half of last season, finishing with 357 runs in six County Championship matches including a maiden century in the first innings of the final match against Leicestershire at Wantage Road.

Norfolk-raised Newton has now been named as one of ten promising youngsters who will further their cricketing education by playing club cricket in Australia on an ECB scholarship.

Warwickshire wicketkeeper Richard Johnson is also a recipient of a scholarship and he too is playing grade cricket in Perth.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire’s Ireland fast bowler Boyd Rankin and Leicestershire’s talented paceman Nathan Buck have been named on the ECB’s fast bowling programme for five week-long conditioning blocks at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University.

Rankin, who suffered a broken foot bowling against Essex in September, has recently been given the all-clear to resume training.

Players on the ECB fast bowling programme are due to spend three weeks in India in February working with Dennis Lillee and ECB coaches but Rankin’s participation in that camp will depend on whether he is included in Ireland’s World Cup squad.

Buck’s inclusion on the fast bowling programme follows an impressive maiden season in county cricket in which he took 49 Championship wickets. Buck is a former England Under-19 international.

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